Stent used in the treatment of weakened arteries.

Stent used in the treatment of weakened arteries.

Medical devices

Medical devices research occurs at the diverse interface of biological, chemical, physical, electronics, engineering and manufacturing sciences.

  • 25 February 2009 | Updated 29 May 2012

Medical devices research utilises biological properties, processes and systems to develop new and clever materials; faster and more precise techniques, diagnoses and treatments.

There are three major fields of activity:

  • diagnostic tools
  • sensors and instrumentation
  • enabling materials. 

Diagnostic tools

Research goals are to develop techniques that are reliable, faster, cheaper and more sensitive. Tests that once took days are now completed in seconds thanks to high speed, high throughput technologies.

Diagnostics research includes:

  • automated analysis of medical images to detect abnormalities and diseases
  • high speed and content screening
  • customised DNA microarrays
  • analysing DNA to detect susceptibility to diseases
  • ultrasound and audio frequency drivers and measurement rigs
  • physiological signal-based health monitoring and diagnosis.

Sensors and instrumentation

New biosensor research is aimed to design systems that can detect chemical or physical changes with high accuracy.

Examples include:

  • developing new ways to detect volatile flavour and aroma organic compounds in foods
  • incorporating new technologies into medical textiles to promote wound healing or monitor condition
  • developing the use of acoustic waves for medical diagnosis and other applications
  • a new oxygen-air mixing device with a radically different design to current technology
  • remote sensing technology to develop a device to monitor physiological parameters from within the body
  • electronic fluid flow detector to measure fluid flows in a hospital setting
  • hand-held sensor systems for in-situ detection and analysis of biochemical and biological species
  • biomagnetic measurements where invasive procedures are impossible, for example, foetal heart monitoring.

Enabling materials

Enabling materials include new types of synthetic and natural polymers, adhesives and tissues. Many of these materials are in fibre form and require precise manufacturing techniques to ensure uniformity, purity and reliability.

Medical device researchers have formed multidisciplinary alliances to harness the diverse skills and technologies to deliver effective outcomes.

Examples include:

  • extended wear and implantable contact lenses
  • conducting polymers, metal coated synthetic fibres, nanotubes
  • ultra-fine electrospun fibres for research on biomedical tissue engineering, air filtration and treatments for contaminated water
  • microfabrication techniques such as optical lithography, thin film deposition, electron beam writing, dry plasma etching, wet chemical etching.

Medical device researchers have formed multidisciplinary alliances to harness the diverse skills and technologies to deliver effective outcomes.

Some medical devices

Some examples of our work in medical devices include:

  • analysis at point of sampling hand-held sensor device
  • opthalmic devices including intraocular lenses and corneal inlay and onlay materials for vision correction
  • surgical implants that promote bone regrowth
  • blood testing technologies that use just a single drop of blood to deliver accurate and rapid results
  • new designs for stent grafts used for the treatment of aneurysms
  • biocompatible textile scaffolds for use in peripheral nerve repair
  • a new oxygen-air mixing device for neonatal therapy (see image below).

Commercial oxygen-air mixing device for neonatal therapy developed in collaboration with Nascor

Commercial oxygen-air mixing device for neonatal therapy developed in collaboration with Nascor.

 

Find out more about cell growth on Biomedical textiles (Video).

  • SolarScan™ is a trademark of CSIRO Australia.